Granary Arts Center named ‘One of the 10 best’ art spaces by USA Today
By Robert Green
EPHRAIM—The Granary Arts Center has developed a nice reputation in the arts world as being a great little place for artistic expression.
The center’s emphasis on supporting art in rural places has not gone unnoticed, said chief curator Amy Jorgensen.
An article in the travel section of USA Today on Dec. 26 listed Granary Arts as one of the 10 best do-it-yourself art spaces in the country.
The article was written by Larry Bleiberg for USA today with input from Utah native Jason Andrew.
In the article, Andrew stated, “Art flourishes in remote central Utah thanks to artists based in a historic granary building on the high plains. It’s in a very exciting space. It’s really in the desert. There’s nothing there. The gallery is founded by two friends; it enriches the community with workshops, musical performances and art installations.”
Andrew, who is a curator of a contemporary exhibit in Asheville, North Carolina, is an influencer in the art world and he had a lot of positive things to say about Granary Arts, Jorgensen said.
“Cutting edge art isn’t limited to big cities and large cultural institutions,” Andrew said. “Creative work can be found across the country in small towns and artist-run spaces.”
Jorgensen appreciates the fact that her gallery is getting some positive press. “We have developed a national reputation,” she said. “We are doing this at the highest level.”
The main purpose of Granary Arts is to support art in rural places. With that goal in mind, exhibits are rotated throughout the year and workshops are held for art-minded enthusiasts. Many exhibits support a regional, historic or pioneer theme. Music and film projects are often featured.
For example, Granary Arts fellow Rhonda Lauritzen just completed a project where the stone and mortar home of Granary Arts, the Ephraim Relief Society Granary, was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Lauritzen, worked on the project to tell the untold story of the granary in a newly released video and article.
In August, Granary Arts is planning to celebrate 100 years since the ratification of voting rights for women, Jorgensen said. The center will host a workshop with artists Jann Haworth and Liberty Blake, organizers of the mural project. Granary Arts will be collaborating with members of the public throughout Utah to create over 200 stencil portraits of women who have made an impact in Utah. The portraits will be digitally printed onto weatherproof banners and displayed on the Dinwiddy Building in Salt Lake City.
Granary Arts will also be offering fellowships to Family Trade musicians Ashley Hanson and Brian Laidlaw in the summer of 2020. They will be working to create “Town Tracks,” an album of original music, written and recorded in collaboration with the local community that celebrates the histories and cultures of the region.
Hanson and Laidlaw will offer public songwriting workshops and story-sharing circles, Jorgensen said. In the fall of 2020, Granary Arts will host several “preview performances” of the material. A final visit for an album-release concert will take place during the Scandinavian Heritage Festival in spring of 2021.
This year as always, Granary Arts is offering free art workshops for area residents. The workshops are held Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Students are invited to explore a variety of fine art mediums, materials and processes.
In addition, the gallery is collaborating with the children of Ephraim to exhibit local pieces at Ephraim City Hall through May of this year. “This is a way to reflect on our community and the ways in which we connect to the surrounding landscape, a place we call home,” stated the website granaryarts.org.
Granary Arts has a full schedule of events for 2020, with tentative highlights below:
- Kari Laine: The Rhizome Remains – Main Gallery / February 12 – May 2,
- Adama Delphine Fawundu: Tingoi – Upper Gallery / February 12 – May 2,
- Jan Andrews: Dissonance – CCA Christensen Gallery / February 12 – March 20,
- Youth Care Arts – April
- Paul Adams: Vanishing Voices – May – September
- Sarah Lindsay – May – September
- Story of the Ephraim Relief Society Granary – May – September
- Celebrating the impact of Utah women — A Community Created Mural Workshop with Jann Haworth – March 7, 1-4 p.m.
- Film Feast, two events, one in spring and one in fall, with times to be determined.
Granary Arts, 86 N Main Street in Ephraim, is a non-profit enterprise with its primary focus to provide quality artwork and community events to the people of Sanpete County, said Adah Bennion, manager. It is funded primarily by Ephraim City and supported in part by the Utah Arts and Museums and the National Endowment of the Arts. For more information, go to http://www.granaryarts.org.